Maui Jim. What a fabulous show! Located at the gorgeous Lamplight Equestrian Facility and the Wayne Pratt Woods Preserve in St. Charles, IL, current home of the American Eventing Championships. Maui Jim also newly has added the CIC*** so it makes it a very exciting competition to ride in and to watch.
Well, IL isn't a bad drive for us Minnesotan's as we really enjoy our time we get to spend together on the drive there and back. We always find something to keep us entertained! We arrived on Thursday which gave us plenty of time to hack horses, un-pack and settle into our new surroundings. Hannah was great, as she always is when we are new places!
We were ready to put in a nice dressage test the following day after warmup. We received a 39.3, not our best but it put is in the top 10. I walked the XC course and it looked tough. Two water complexes, the first one with an A,B,C and D element! It looked tough but we could tackle it! I walked the course a few more times and went over it with my friend Meaghan Marinovich to make sure we got each line down exactly how we were going to ride them.
Saturday morning. Up early, fed the horses and began getting ready. Studs, boots, tack, and all my gear. The walk over to the cross country course takes about 10 minutes which gives a nice walk warm up over there. We got over to warm up and began warming up slowly and popped over a few fences. She felt great and we were ready to go when our number was called.
The countdown started, 3,2,1 and we were off! Hannah felt great, she felt exceptionally fit and powerful underneath me. We negotiated the first part of the course flawlessly and came to the first water. I sat up, 1/2 halted and brought her back to a shorter more powerful canter. We jumped the first log A, one stride to a log drop down into water, then we had to slightly leg yield to the left to another even larger log drop into water and then to an angled, skinny, wide chevron. It rode perfectly and we galloped on. Came around to the new water and jumped those obstacles with ease and continued over our last fences to gallop across the finish line under the optimum time. What a great course! It was tough and definitely required a lot of riding, but if rode correctly was amazing!
I slowed Hannah to a trot then walk across the finish line, loosened her girth and walked her back to the stable. I un-tacked, un-studded and hosed and linimented her. I took her out for a few walks the rest of the day to stretch her legs and eat some grass. I then returned to the show jump arenas and walked my course.
We were ready for the course, which was in the smaller of the two show jump rings. We came up to warm up and I could tell she was a little lethargic which meant I'd need to give her a perfect ride. We ended up have 3 rails and time but none-the-less it was a learning experience and a lot of fun! We ended up in 13th out of a field of 30, not bad! I was pleased with our performance this weekend and now knew what we needed to work on! Bring on another show!